This topic can be a hard pill to swallow. I know because I’ve had to swallow it myself.I now know that if I would have died before August 7, 2014 I would be in Hell for eternity. It was put on my heart to write this blog because I was a fake Christian for 20 years of my life and it’s scary how becoming truly saved showed me how blind I was to the truth that was right in front of my very eyes. I thank God that He showed me the light before it was too late, so I want to pay it forward by putting this out there for at least one person to see. I remember many times when I’d go to church and hear the preacher ask if there’s anyone in the congregation who isn’t saved and I would always look around at whose hand would go up or who would walk down the aisle not considering that this person could have been me. I’ve been in church all my life, I’m a “good” person there’s NO way that could be me right? So wrong. Romans 3:20-22 shows us the one and only way to be deemed as “good” in God’s eyes. With this being said, here are a few signs that can be used to help evaluate whether or not this could be you as well.
1. Not reading/studying your Bible for yourself on a regular basis
To be saved is to have an opportunity to have a relationship with The Creator! Like any relationship, communication is key. If there’s no communication then you can pretty much guarantee that the relationship will shrivel up and die. Same goes for the Lord. The Bible is called God’s Word for a reason. It’s how He speaks to us and if you’re not reading it, that means your communication with each other isn’t there. Not reading your Bible is also a sign because God’s Word gives us instructions on how Christians should live. If you don’t read it, then how can you know what it says and furthermore know what to do? And because of our sinful natures we are all born with, no one just lives life as a Christian naturally so we must read it. IT’S NOT THE PREACHERS JOB TO DO THIS FOR US!!! Genuine preachers of the Word of God are great and they are much needed, but just like you wouldn’t depend on another person to build a relationship between you and someone else, you can’t depend on a preacher to build your relationship with God.
2. Repeatedly and deliberately committing sin without any convictions.
Galatians 5:19-21 says “When you follow desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Please note that this doesn’t just cover those outward sins like sex before marriage, drunkenness, wild parties etc but also those sins that occur inside that can be hidden from people’s eyes like jealousy and anger. Don’t let the world fool you into thinking that some sins are a bigger deal than others. Participating in sin outwardly is hated by God, but gossiping/lying about people who participate in outward sins are also hated by God. Now, am I saying that true Christians are perfect? NO! Not even close. The more I read the Bible, the more I realize what a mess I am and how much I need God’s grace and the Holy Spirit daily. So please do not think that living a sinless life is required to be a follower of Christ. In our imperfection, God’s grace is readily available. However, the difference between the two is that true Christians are diligent about obeying God’s commands to show our love for Him( John14:23 ), are convicted by the Holy Spirit when we go against God’s instructions, and repent by turning away from things we are convicted about.
3. Your thoughts and actions are centered on yourself and what’s best for you.
You want to sum up the God-given goal of a Christian in a nutshell? Matthew 22:37-39 says it all. “37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” This means that God should be our first priority and that we do not put ourselves above others. To be honest, I’m hesitant when it comes to putting myself out there. This blog is an example. Satan tries to fill my mind with the thoughts and cares of people’s opinions but I have to remind myself one important thing: THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME! Avoiding things out of fear when I know it’s something that would bring glory to God would be selfishness on my part. Everything God has His children do is not for ourselves, but for someone else. Christians should strive not toward their own success and desires but to bring God glory during their time here on Earth. It takes trust, courage, and patience…lots of patience… to allow the Holy Spirit to develop us into this kind of person.
4. Being a Christian hasn’t “cost” you anything and hasn’t brought you to that critical crossroad of whether or not to live for God.
The Christian journey is fulfilling and rewarding but it’s no cake walk. This life is going to cost you something. God has promised to make His followers into “new creatures.” New creatures! With a promise like that there’s no way He expects us to stay the same. He has called us to depend on Him so that we can adopt a Christ -like nature that goes against everything that comes natural to our flesh. We are even called to lose our lives so that we can find life in Him( Matthew 10:39 )I remember that point of crisis for me. I came to a portion of the Bible that revealed how real the Christian life truly was. The Bible asked something of me over a year ago that I didn’t feel I could do at the time, and that was to seemingly hate my family in comparison to how much I love God (Luke 14:25-27 ). I didn’t pick up my Bible for about 3 days. The truth was I was scared to let go of my life for the one God has for me. The truth was I spent my whole life getting to know and love my family but getting to know God on a personal level was new to me. What brought me back to God? The alternative: 1) missing out on a relationship with God, the Creator of the Universe, and His purpose for me and 2) dying and going to Hell because of it. So, there will be bumps in the road but I promise you that it’s so worth it.
5. Finally, wanting God’s hand instead of His heart
There are so many preachers out there feeding people “prosperity gospels” that promote the idea that God=blessings, specifically, money and material things. Well folks I’m here to tell you that God is SOOO much greater than what He can give you! Just because you “feel blessed” at the moment because things seem to be going ok doesn’t mean you are in a good place with God. This can be a trick from the enemy to keep potential people of God trapped by disguising himself as something people see as godly. It is made very clear throughout the Bible that being one of His followers brings about hard times and suffering that He can all use for His glory. You can count on it. If you forgot then please go back and read number four. What makes the “feel good” messages that only shed light on the parts of the Bible people want to hear and omitting huge chunks of the truth so dangerous is that it can create fake saints who only follow God for handouts. Another name would be the fair weather Christians who praise God when everything is great but when trouble comes they’re all mad at God, stressed out, or worried because they don’t know Him as a Comforter. They don’t know Him as a Way Maker. They don’t trust in the strength He can give them in times of trouble. To make matters worse, there are people in the world who are watching Christians because just maybe they want to give this whole “God thing” a try but because there is no heart change made, those people see no difference between God’s people and people of the world. So potential souls could be lost because of this issue. Yes, there are blessings in this world that God has for us but they do not all come in material form. Please don’t hurt God by showing Him that you only care about Him because of what you can get out of Him.
So after reading this, 1 of about 3 things could have happened. One, you are jumping for joy because none of these apply to you. Two, you feel upset or possibly even angry because some or all of these apply to you. Three, You feel indifferent and don’t really care one way or another. If you fall into number 1, awesome! If you fall in number 2, COUNT IT AS A BLESSING! If you’re reading this that means you’re still alive and well and can do something about it! This also means that your heart is not hardened to God and He can work wonders with an unhardened heart…trust me. Realize that as humans we all need forgiveness and have an opportunity at eternal life in heaven by accepting Jesus into our lives. Pray for forgiveness and with your mouth and a genuine heart, say that you believe in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and that you want him to lead your life. (Romans 10:9) That’s it! By faith you are saved. Sorry if you didn’t get the fireworks and singing angels you might have been looking for. Next, get a bible in a translation that you can understand and hook up with a church that teaches God’s Word and that you can grow in. Unfortunately, not all churches fit this description so don’t get discouraged if you have to try out a number of different churches before you find what you’re looking for. Now, if you fall into number 3, please know that this could be a sign you’re in a dangerous place. This could possibly show that your heart is hardened toward God and since He is a loving God who grants us free will to live as we please, He’s not going to break in and enter your life. You must invite him. If this is you please know prayers are being said for you. I hope you all enjoyed this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it.
God loves you no matter which category you fall in,